With whimsical art and lyrical language, author and illustrator Lindsey Yankey‘s modern-day fables draw in kids and adults alike.
Readers can meet Ms. Yankey in person at the upcoming literary fair, Great Writers, Right Here, on Saturday, December 12 from 1-4 pm. Yankey and over 50 other authors from the region will be available to meet your family, sell, and sign books, and join you for a quick photo (#greatwriterstscpl).
Read on for an original interview with Lindsey Yankey, conducted by e-mail in November 2015.
If you could be any animal, what would you be? Either a squirrel, some sort of water bird, or a house cat. Squirrel so I could jump from branch to branch and climb really high. Water bird so I could fly, swim, and float. House cat because I love to laze in the sun…It’s hard to decide on just one.
What are some of your favorite children’s books? Some of my favorite children’s books are; Where the Wild things Are, The Little Prince, Good Dog Carl, Balloon Farm. I really love books by the Australian author and illustrator Shaun Tan. I love Oliver Jeffers books especially The Incredible Book Eating Boy.
Tell us a bit about your childhood. I grew up in the country in rural Kansas with my family. I played a lot outside with my brother and sister in the creek and woods near our house. My parents always had plenty of art supplies and books for us to use. This was before internet and we didn’t have cable so I had a lot of time to play and make things up. Since I can first remember using acrylic paint I’ve been obsessed with painting flowers and tiny dots.
Tell us about how you became an author. I’ve been interested in books since I was a little kid, but I took the long way through school. In college I changed majors 3 times until I settled on illustration, which is to say, when I decided I wanted to be a children’s book illustrator and author. I became an author when I started writing my own stories and developing characters.
Tell us a bit about your illustration process. First I start with tiny little pencil sketches so I can roughly plan the whole book, this gives me a chance to see how I want one page to flow to the next. Then I make tighter drawings and begin thinking about color and what materials I want to use for each illustration. From there I often use tea to stain my paper and once it is dry, I begin my final illustration. I always like to start a picture knowing that even if I make a mistake on it I can always fix it. That way I’m never stuck.
Questions About Promoting Literacy
How do you honor reading and writing in your home? We have books all over our house! When I am working on a book I set aside an hour or two a day to only write. Not research, not check my phone or internet, just write.
Tell us about a teacher or mentor who made an impact on you. My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Dyer, was a huge influence in my life. She was the teacher that even in high school and collage I’d go home to visit her in her classroom. She was a wonderful spirit who believed in every one of the kids who came through her door.
What advice do you have for the parent or teacher of a child who does not want to read? I wonder if maybe they just haven’t found the right type of books for them. Children’s librarians are amazing folks who know about all kinds of children’s books, I’d ask them for some guidance on what to read.
Don’t miss your chance to meet Lindsey Yankey at Great Writers, Right Here– December 12, 1-4 pm, in Marvin Auditorium!